The Delaware Office of Highway Safety is sponsoring a program at several southern Delaware high schools that aims to shock students to the realities of distracted driving.
Last January, Gov. Markell signed legislation restricting cell phone use while driving and prohibiting text messaging, sending or reading e-mails or browsing websites while a vehicle is in motion.
More than a year later, though, Delaware is still issuing cell phone citations – many to drivers under the age of 21.
To combat distracted driving – especially texting while driving – the Delaware Office of Highway Safety is sponsoring a program at several southern Delaware high schools that aims to shock students to the realities of distracted driving.
The program comes to Milford High School next Thursday and is billed as a “six-hour high impact anti-texting and distracted driving program” that includes an actual casket that is supposed to serve as a reminder of life-changing impact that distracted driving can have.
The multi-media program begins at 8 a.m. with a general school assembly that includes a 16-minute graphic documentary followed by more information from tour manager, Sean Medina.
The rest of the day will be spent with rotating groups of students taking turns behind the wheel of driving simulators that will offer several different hands-on driving scenarios.
The scenarios include an iPhone that will receive simple text messages that require simple answers. Students will get to see firsthand how speed fluctuates and lanes get crossed as they struggle to type in their names or hometowns and keep the wheel straight.
Once the ride is over – and most end with the screeching and crunching sounds of an accident – an estimate will be given to the student regarding the damages and injuries.
Delaware Office of Highway Safety Community Relations Officer Alison Kirk said that she hopes that the program demonstrates how cell phones are distractions while driving and how they can interfere with one’s ability to react to situations on the roadways.
“We hope that kids, teachers, and the administration will put their phones down while driving and wait to answer the phone or text when they are safely to their destination,” Kirk said.